Let me start with a quote from the UN women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the launch of women leading Africa Programme in Namibia on 24 October, 2013. She said ” We need more women leaders! When women lead side by side with men, it is good for equality and democracy. It is good for peace and stability. It is good for decision. When women and men make decision together, the decisions better reflect and respond to the diverse needs and rights of the entire population.”
Studies have shown that investing in girls and women creates a ripple effect that yields multiplying benefits not only to the individual women but also for families, communities and countries. There is no doubt that strong women leadership in organisation are more effective and efficient.
In my last post, it was evident that women’s representation in national leadership has been on the decline. It is imperative that all stakeholders must pursue the implementation of the national gender policy based on affirmative action and create an enabling environment to increase women’s political participation in 2019 election
The gender policy provides that at least 35% of positions should be reserved for women. This must be implemented immediately by the present administration and increase gradually to 50% by 2030. Civil Society Organisations and women led groups must embark on aggressive advocacy and sensitization to ensure the implementation of the gender policy.
Furthermore, there is need to gain men’s support for women’s empowerment. Achieving gender equality is not just for women only; both men and women must work hand in hand as champions for gender equality.
Also, the need to establish or reinforce women’s political caucus must be addressed. This provides a platform to increase women’s impact on political decision and peer support necessary to promote a gender equality legislative and political agenda. The women’s caucus will serve as a multi-partisan grassroot platform for recruiting, training and support women who seek for elected and appointed offices at all levels of governance
The challenges limiting women participation in politics are multifactorial and there is need for a comprehensive approach involving political, economic, cultural and social dimensions. I will address the economic dimension in my next write up.